Self-care is easy to overlook when you have a full plate with many responsibilities and stressors. It’s difficult to balance work, family, friends, household tasks and all your other obligations. You may find yourself running from one task to another without taking any time to focus on YOU.
We all know we need to take care of ourselves, but why is it that self-care activities always get pushed to the bottom of our to-do list? When you make yourself a priority, you will have more time, energy and resources to take care of others, too.
Types of Self-Care Activities
Your nutrition is invaluable. It’s so important to ensure your body has the nutrients it needs so you can perform to the best of your ability, stay healthy, prevent disease and manage your weight. We often put the nutritional needs of others before our own, especially those with children. Have you ever purchased special foods for a family member, but put back the salad for yourself because it was too expensive? Have you ever chosen to “give in” and eat chicken nuggets for your meal because that’s the only thing your child will eat these days?
Decide to take care of YOU. Select the foods you want to fuel yourself with and make them readily available, even if they cost a few extra pennies. Make a point to eat regularly throughout the day without skipping meals. Take the time to pack your lunch so you stay on-plan and don’t wind up at a drive-thru for a fast food burger. Take any supplements you need to stay healthy. The opportunities are endless! Focus on nourishing your body so you have the strength and energy to tackle each day.
Prioritizing Your Mental Health
Mental health is very often overlooked. As with many things in life, the constant going, taking care of others and limited rest time can really take its toll on your thoughts and feelings. If you’re not already taking a look at your mental health, you should! What is the right balance of rest, relaxation, and tending to your day-to-day obligations?
One easy way to focus on your mental health is to take time to do something for yourself each day. It can be big or small. Paint your nails, work in your garden, read a chapter in a book you enjoy, or spend a few minutes doing yoga or meditation. Taking a few moments to re-charge can carry you a long way and prevent burnout.
Moving Your Body
Physical activity is essential to your overall wellbeing. It improves your mood, assists with weight management, reduces the risk of disease, strengthens bones and muscles, and improves your ability to do daily activities.
However, one of the biggest obstacles people commonly face with physical activity is making the time for movement. With so many things on our to-do list, fitness and physical activity often get pushed to the side.
Make a pact to prioritize physical activity! Let the dishes sit in the sink and take a walk. Say no to an evening out every so often so you can make sure you attend your fitness class or squeeze in a home workout. Make “appointments” for physical activity just as you would for the dentist or your primary care doctor. You are worth it!
Meeting Your Spiritual Needs
Being mindful, finding peace, and connecting with your mind and body are all aspects of spiritual health. Take time to think about where your purpose in life is. Try to block out everything around you so you can really think and process. You can nurture your spiritual needs by attending a place of worship, meditating, reflecting on yourself in a quiet space, writing in a journal, or engaging in other activities that promote mindfulness.
Self-care is for Everyone
Self-care can be difficult for many people. We’re used to living in a fast-paced world with daily obligations, deadlines and responsibilities. But the rewards of self-care can be great, and you will likely find yourself much more productive when you’ve taken time to devote to it. You can start practicing self-care activities a little at a time and build upon them as they become routine. You are deserving of rest, relaxation, nourishment and, most importantly, your own attention. Self-care is for everyone!